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Zeus Tech Note
Creating and Using Stub Projectors

(This document last revised March 28, 2002)

Copyright © 1996-2002. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.
Written by Bruce A. Epstein

See also Projector Build Options - The OTTO files for ways to configure a Stub Projector in D7 and D8.

Q. What is a "Stub Projector"?

A. A Stub Projector is a Director Projector that contains a simple movie that merely calls an external DIR or DXR file to do all the real work. Stub projectors are highly recommended for simplified development and distribution of all Director projects. An even more "advanced" type of Strub Projector, possible since Director 7 is a so-called "Shockwave Projector."

Q. Why would I want to use a Stub Projector?

A. There are several advantages to a stub projector, all of which are significant.

Q. What are the drawbacks to a Stub Projector?

A. In some cases you may want one self-contained package that includes all the assets. In this case, you should use a Stub Projector during development, and then build and retest your final projector that includes the DIR file and CST files internally.

When you build the DIR files into the Projector, you can control the order of the movies to optimize performance. You will need to do this manually through your CD-burning software if you leave the files external to the projector. Most CD-burning software, such as Toast, allow you to do this easily.

Q. Will a Stub Projector perform as well as when all movies are contained in the projector?

A. Stub Projector should perform very similarly to a projector containing all the assets, if not faster.

You will need to ensure that the files are placed on the CD in an optimal fashion. If you have a large number of external files, such as several hundred, it may slow down the Macintosh file system.. Try to reduce the number of external files or put them into multiple subdirectories.. Be sure to specify exact paths, rather than using "the searchpath", and place the files in an optimal order when burning your CD-ROM.

You can also use the preLoadMovie command to load assets ahead of time.

Q. How do I create a Director Projector?

A. Refer to the TechNote, "Creating Director Projectors for Mac and Windows" for tips on creating your actual projector. First, you will need to create your Director file to be used in the Projector. Refer to the discussion below.

Q. How do I create a Projector that restarts my movie where it last left off?

A. Refer to the TechNote, "Restoring the Projector's State" for tips on restoring a user's place in a projector.

Q. How do I protect my external Director files when using a Stub Projector?

A. You can protect your DIR files by creating protected "DXR" files that remain external to the projector. Select "Update Movies" from Director's "Xtras" menu. Choose the "Protect (Prevents Editing)" option to create protected DXR files.

Creating a Stub Projector

To create a Stub projector, you will first create a small Director movie, that will be used to build the projector. It is very easy to create a Stub movie yourself, or you can download the example STUB.DIR file.

1. Create a new Director movie (the Stub movie) using Director's "New...Movie" option under the File menu.

. In the first frame of your Director movie, create a frame script that goes to your first "real" movie. Assuming that the first movie in your project is named "INTRO.DIR", use:

on exitFrame

go movie "INTRO"


By omitting the file extension, Director will look for the right file whether it is named "INTRO.DIR", or "INTRO.DXR". This allows you to use the same Projector without modification when you create protected external DXR files. If you specifically use "INTRO.DIR" or "INTRO.DXR" in your Lingo script, it won't work with both DIR and DXR files.

3. Set the stub movie's properties with Director's "Modify..Movie...Properties" option. Set the Stage Size and the Stage Background color as desired, plus any other options as you see fit. Consult Director's documentation for details on these options, and refer to the TechNote, "Creating Director Projectors for Mac and Windows" for additional tips.

4. Test the Director movie and Save it as "STUB.DIR"

5. Create your projector for each platform:

Refer to the TechNote, "Creating Director Projectors for Mac and Windows" for tips on creating your actual projector.

Congratulations! You have built a Stub Projector which should serve you well!

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Copyright © 1996-2002. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.